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Servicemembers United responds to Pentagon criticism over stance on biased DADT survey

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Servicemembers United rebuts the numerous false and misleading claims made by Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell about Servicemembers United's criticism of the biased DADT survey released last week.

The survey, which was created and administered by the research firm Westat in conjunction with the Comprehensive Review Working Group, was sent out to 400,000 non-deployed active duty and reserve component troops at a cost to taxpayers of $4.4 million.

"Unfortunately, the Pentagon's responses to Servicemembers United's criticism of the DADT survey mirror the survey itself - flawed," said Alexander Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United and a former U.S. Army interrogator who was discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

"We continue to maintain that the Defense Department just shot itself in the foot by releasing such a flawed survey to 400,000 servicemembers, and it did so at an outrageous cost to taxpayers."

The response memo can be found at www.servicemembersunited.org/morrellresponse.

The original briefing memo, which includes specific examples of the survey's flaws and to which Mr. Morrell was responding, can be found at www.servicemembersunited.org/briefingmemo.

Nicholson also called on the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, to meet with representatives of Servicemembers United to discuss the organization's serious criticisms and concerns directly. "It would be very helpful for Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen to hear directly from Servicemembers United's leadership about exactly why this survey is so offensive and inflammatory to our community," Nicholson said.

The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law, passed in 1993 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994, has resulted in the abrupt firing of more than 14,000 men and women because of their sexual orientation, and has led tens of thousands more to voluntarily terminate their careers because of the burden of serving under this outdated law. There are an estimated 66,000 gays, lesbians, and bisexuals currently serving in the U.S. military and an estimated 1 million gay, lesbian, and bisexual veterans of the U.S. armed forces.